The perfect happiness

Second to a well fermented idli batter, the perfectly set creamy yogurt gives me the perfect happiness in the domestic department. How things change as one grows older, sigh!

Anyhow, the intent of this post today is to share the kickass fail proof recipe I have to make the creamiest of yummy tasting yogurt.

Please allow me for short flashback. Since we moved overseas, finding Indian style yogurt meant making a trip to the far flung Indian grocery store or picking up the Greek Style plain yogurt in the local grocery aisle. Also, they were expensive. Once we chose proximity over effort, we gradually fell in love with the taste of the Greek yogurt. Having the tub of yogurt in the fridge became the new norm. But then I kept on buying and throwing away the empty tubs on an alarming rate. So one fine day I tried to set the yogurt at home the same way we have been doing for ages.

Round 1 – Flop show.

When my parents arrived to visit last summer, they took it as a challenge. Such hot weather and how can the yogurt not set?

Round 2 – Flop show again.

In-laws arrived after my parents. Same challenge taken, same scenario and I already knew the outcome.

Round 3 – Flop show the third time.

I decided it is back to buying the tubs weekly and continued for about half a year. Then a chance reading of a Facebook post had people list the various methods of making yogurt in cold countries. I browsed through and found one which sounded silly at first. But gave it a try because it was vouched for by many in the comments section. To my utter surprise and delight I was staring at the most perfect yogurt I had ever made. And I follow the same recipe to the T till date.

And the best part? It does not even need a starter or culture 🙂

What worked for me –

Boil and cool down full cream milk till it is slightly hot, but not too hot that you cannot keep a finger in for more than 3 seconds. Now transfer the milk into a nice wide stainless steel vessel which has a lid to cover it. Once the milk is ready to begin its journey in its new abode, put one red chilly inside it. The most important part here is that the red chilly should have its stem intact. That is where the lactobacillus resides. Give it a stir, close the vessel and put it out in the sun. If the sun is not too hot or if it is winters where you hardly get sun, preheat the oven for 15 minutes, wait for ten minutes once the timer runs and put the vessel in. The yogurt should be set after 7-8 hours. I usually do it overnight.

Try if you can/want/wish and let me know how it turned out?



How to make bread halwa twice

What do you do, when you find a loaf of bread staring at you solemnly for two days straight and no one in the house wants to eat a toast or sandwich? Google the ways to use it up of course 🙂

I came up with two interesting finds – bread pakoda and bread halwa. The general mood in the house was to have something sweet, so I went in for the latter. Now what happened is I wanted to follow the recipe to the T, but midway I saw the consistency was getting a bit too thick and added more milk. It came out very tasty nevertheless.

What you will need –

Bread slices – 10 to 12

Milk – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Sugar – start with one cup, add more if you want it to be sweeter

Assorted dry fruits – a handful

* *

How I did and then redid the halwa –

In a pan or kadai, heat the ghee and fry the bread cut into small pieces. Once they turn slightly brown and give of a nice aroma, remove them in a plate and throw in the dry fruits. Repeat process.

Now add milk and wait till it starts boiling. Add the bread pieces, stir for a minute or two and then add the sugar. Here is where I ‘redid’ the almost perfect done dish. I thought the halwa was a bit dry and sticky and added half a cup of milk. Instantly, everything muddled up. I kept the flame on high and started stirring vigorously. In the end, it was a lumpy mass, but it tasted good 😀 Topped it with the dry fruits and everybody ate it up yay.

Easy chicken curry recipe

Over the time, I have started cooking non vegetarian dishes my way rather than the MIL’s way. Just that she uses too much of oil which I absolutely do not agree to. So there is her version of biryani and my version of biryani. People eating both do not find any difference in taste, though I have got some comments like mine smells better 😛

This is how I do the chicken curry, I do not vouch for the authenticity of it – but this is one easy recipe which does not take much effort and time in the kitchen.

This dish made with the following proportions serves 3.

Marinate 300gms of chicken in 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 3 tbsp of curd,1 tsp of salt. Mix well and keep it covered for 20 minutes.

In a pressure cooker, add 1 tbsp oil, 1tsp of garam masala and 2 chopped onions and sauté it for 5 minutes.

Once the onion starts browning, add the chicken with 1/2 glass of water, add 1 tsp pepper powder and a handful of chopped coriander leaves.

Pressure cook it for 2 whistles or until chicken is tender, check for salt and again garnish it with coriander leaves.

That’s it! Chicken curry is ready to be served with phulkas or hot rice.